Port Blair is the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, housing the only commercial airport here, it is well connected by both sea & air and is known as the gateway to the islands.
It resembles the tale of any other city in India. Hotels, restaurants, resorts, and shops adorn its streets. Apart from that, it also has a lot of history associated with it, but not just any, it’s the history of our fight for freedom.
Named Kaalapani it was largely used by the British for deporting political prisoners from India. And now it happens to be the most prominent tourist destination in the Islands, and the hub of all tourist activities happening around the Isles.
Due to the number of visitors traveling via Port Blair, the island has the best choices in hotels and staycations offering rooms for every budget.
Water Sports choices on the island are abundant and range from everything from Scuba Diving and Parasailing to simpler ones like Snorkeling and Jet Skis.
Being the hub, Port Blair connects to all the other islands in Andaman which are open to tourists via road and ferries. North Andaman, consisting of Baratang, Rangat, Mayabunder, and Diglipur is connected directly via road, although some routes are faster traveled via ferry. Other tourist destinations in the islands like Havelock Island and Neil are connected via ferries mostly operating from the Phoenix Bay Jetty, while the Aberdeen Jetty connects Port Blair to nearby islands like North Bay Island, Ross Island and Viper Island.
Port Blair itself has a wide variety of tourist attractions that fits every kind of traveler, whether you are looking for a relaxed beach-side kind of vibe, a historical getaway, or searching for a bit of fun and adventure on the sea. Thus providing a fulfilling holiday to anyone, be it, family, honeymooners, couples, or adventure lovers.
FACTS ABOUT PORT BLAIR:
Things to do:
Cellular Jail is a national memorial of great historical significance for India and is thronged by tourists and historians alike.
It was completed in the year 1906 and was constructed to serve as a secluded colonial prison from where escape would be nearly impossible.
It's famous for its stronghold type architecture, original photo gallery, light & sound show, and a museum that displays aspects linked to former inmates of Cellular Jail and about the Andaman and Nicobar Islands before the freedom of India.
The light and sound show is displayed after sunset and is conducted in both English and Hindi where you can sit near the peepal tree and learn more about the hardships and struggles our brave fighters went through for our freedom.
Cellular Jail is located 3.8 KMs from Port Blair Airport and can be easily be reached by taking any bus going through the GB Pant Hospital route. There are a lot of private and govt buses going through the route and the tickets are usually no more than Rs.10. The Jail is located almost 100 meters from the bus-stand, which is easily walkable. You can also hire a cab or auto-rickshaw to jail for a more comfortable travel experience. We do recommend opting for this to avoid extra hassles.
Things to do:
One of the cleanest beaches in the Andaman, Corbyn’s Cove Beach is a resounding place to relax and feel at ease and it will be the first beach that you’ll visit in the Isles.
Standing on the beach and looking at the crystal clear waters is a spectacular experience, and the water here is also perfect to go for a swim.
Corbyn’s Cove beach is also growing as a great place for various activities including speed boat rides, Jet Skis, and Scuba diving under the all-natural and alive corals near Snake Island.
Available water sports activities at the beach:
During your Corbyn's cove Visit, take first call on the left side seat of the vehicle, because the view of the open sea is beautiful.
Corbyn's Cove is located around 8.1 KMs from the Veer Savarkar Airport and takes it around 20 minutes to reach there via cab. Cabs charge around INR 600 for A/C and 500 for Non-A/C and can be easily pre-booked.
There are no direct buses or other public transportation to the beach, so either you’ll have to walk for 21 minutes and cover 2.3 KMs from the Carbyn Chowk to reach there or hire an auto-rickshaw or cab. Please note that walking is not recommended after 5 PM due to the lack of street lights in the route. Auto-rickshaws are widely available in Port Blair, but you’ll have to prebook the cabs. The cheapest way to get here is to take a bus to the Carbyn Chowk and take an auto-rickshaw from there. We highly recommend booking a cab directly from your hotel to the beach and return, to avoid any additional hassles.
Things to do:
Wandoor Beach is located about 22.2 KMs from the Airport and possesses beautifully blue and pristine clear beaches.
The mystical and calm beaches of Wandoor are a break from the urban and commercialized areas of the Andaman Islands.
Long stretches of beach along the blue watered shoreline offer astounding scenery to go for a long walk, slow down and just immerse yourself in the experience.
Wandoor beach is the place where most people get dressed in their swimwear and enjoy long hours of playing and swimming in the water. Once you are out of the water, you can enjoy some beachside snacks of your choice in the long groups of more than 15 shops located near the beach.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As per the forest department orders, swimming is prohibited in the Wandoor Beach from Sep 2019.
Wandoor beach is located around 22.2 KMs from the Airport and can be easily reached by taking a bus or cab going through the Great Andaman Trunk Road. Buses are available every hour from the Bus Terminus at Aberdeen Bazaar that goes all the way to the beach. The usual bus tickets cost around Rs.25, while an A/C cab charges Rs.1500 for the same.
Buses are only available till 6:00 PM so it's better to leave early as auto-rickshaws are less near the beach.
Cabs take around 30 minutes to reach the beach and charge around INR 1500 for A/C and INR 1200 for non-A/C.
Things to do:
Located 20 kms from Port Blair Chidiya Tapu is another offbeat attraction on the island which is a center for a relaxed evening under the sunset.
'Chidiya' is a Hindi word which means 'birds.' As the name suggests, the place is famous for the variety of bird species found here.
There is a beach nearby called the Mundapahar Beach, which is well maintained by the forest authority, where you can enjoy sitting near the beach on natural wooden benches or enjoy some snacks with the family inside the beachside Open Huts.
Above other things, the place is most famous for its breathtaking view of the sunset and therefore is usually visited at the end of the day.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As per the forest department orders, swimming is prohibited in the Mundapahad Beach from Sep 2019.
Chidiya Tapu is located 22.5 kms from Port Blair Airport and it takes around 1.2 hours to reach via bus and 45 minutes via cab. People who’d like to travel via bus can easily find Govt. and private buses at the Bus Terminus in the Aberdeen Bazar. The usual ticket price is Rs.25. You can also book a direct A/C cab from the city to reach here, which costs around INR 1500 & INR 1200 for Non-A/C, while auto-rickshaws charge around INR 1,000. There's a bus every 1 hour that goes all the way to Chidiya Tapu. Please note that the buses are scarce after 6 PM, so make sure to leave the beach before that.
People who’d like to the Mundapahad beach have to walk 1.5 KMs to reach there, which can be easily covered in 30 minutes. Cabs and private vehicles are allowed inside and can cover this distance easily to reach the beach directly in 5 minutes.
We recommend direct cabs to Chidiya Tapu and return because the buses follow no strict timings and finding an auto-rickshaw from the beach is much harder.
Things to do:
Part of the 9 National Parks in the Andaman Islands, Mount Harriet is located 15 kilometers from Port Blair and is the highest point in the South Andaman Islands, standing tall at 1,200 feet. The park is located atop the mountain, offering a great place to relax and unwind among the greenery of tall trees and gardens accompanied by butterflies and squirrels. Mount Harriet is considered one of the best places for bird watching in the islands, thanks to the endemic birds that frequent here.
The photo behind the Rs.20 note of the Indian currency was taken from a spot here, you can easily find the direction by following the signboards. The spot still offers a fine view of the North Bay and Ross Island and is one of the best places to take a few clicks. Overall a great place to visit, if you like wilderness and greenery.
The park is open every day, from 8 AM to 4 PM. There is an Rs.30 entry fee to visit the park.
To reach Mount Harriet you’ll have to take an auto-rickshaw or bus to reach the Chatham Jetty and board a ferry to Bambooflat. It generally takes 15-20 minutes to reach Bambooflat. The ticket counter is located on the right and left side of the jetty which costs around Rs.10/Adult and Rs.35 for two-wheelers. These boats run from 5:00 AM to 9:45 PM and are available every 30 minutes.
Once you reach Bambooflat, you’ll have to ride 10 KMs to reach the check-post near the entry gate of Mount Harriet. The checkpoint collects details like Name, Number, and ID proof and provides a permit to enter the area. Post this you can continue via the same road for 2 KMs to reach Mount Harriet.
Things to do:
Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports complex is located on the shoreline and was built as a place for walking and relaxation. The complex consists of long pathways directly above the sea connected to Marina Park. Lots of benches are lined across both sides of the pathway where you can sit back and relax the evening breeze while enjoying the spectacular view. The place also doubles as a jetty, where you can board ferries for the Ross Island and North Bay.
Casual water sports like Jet Ski, Sofa Ride, Banana Ride, and Kayaking are available at the complex, for which the tickets are sold on the small booths nearby.
The complex is located conveniently close to the Cellular Jail, so you can easily spend your evening there.
You can easily reach the Water Sports Complex by taking the stairs down from the Cellular Jail, which is just a 2 min walk away. There are lots of auto-rickshaws present nearby making it easy to travel back.
The anthropological museum showcases information and memoirs of the six native tribes and their unique way of living in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. From the history of these tribes before the independence to a small glimpse into their lives right now, the museum makes it easy to understand the people who are native to the islands. A great place to visit if you are interested in the unique history of the islands.
Samudrika is a marine-focused museum operated and maintained by the Indian Navy which is located close to Haddo. The museum has a total of 5 themes of galleries, showcasing different sides of the Andaman Islands. Everything from history and anthropology to geography and marine life of the islands, the museum is one of the best places to learn about the things that set these islands apart from the rest of the world.
Chatham Saw Mill was constructed by the British at Port Blair in 1883 and mill was the primary source of timber for Andaman and the British Empire in India. The mill still functions to this day, after all these years. The precision in functioning, best in class technology from that time and a museum around the mill makes it a great destination. The museum at the mill houses a collection of unique wood-based carvings that would amaze you.
Fisheries Museum is located near the Water Sports Complex and showcases the marine and biological side of the Andaman Islands. The museum showcases different species of fish and sea dwellers with information about their origin and relocation in and nearby the islands. Although its not that famous among tourists, its worth a visit if you are already exploring the complex and have some free time.
Ross Island is one of the major parts of the history of Andamans. Being the former capital of the islands, long before independence, it has a myriad of British administrative buildings and a lot of history associated with it. The island also has a quiet vibe complemented by an animal reserve, making it a perfect place for a half-day trip from Port Blair.
North Bay is a very small island, located close to Port Blair which is famous for water sports and considered as one of the best places for sea-water adventure. The island has almost all the water-sports currently available in the islands, giving you a lot of choices. The best thing about visiting here is that the trip can be completed in half a day, laving the rest of the day free for other ventures that you may have planned.
Located in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park near Wandoor, Jolly Buoy is a small island famous for its rich coral surroundings complimented by shallow, crystal-clear waters. Best known for Snorkeling and Glass Bottom Boat trips, this island is adorned by people who love something out of the ordinary and don’t mind getting past a few hurdles like permits and boats to reach here. Overall a great place to visit if you have the time.
Viper Island is a secluded island located near Port Blair, which is open for tourists all ear long. The island offers some of the most unique pieces of history associated with the struggle for freedom in the islands with its historic ruins and former jail site. Although not thronged by tourists the island is pretty popular among history enthusiasts. It takes around 3.5 hours to reach there via boat, which costs around Rs.2000/- generally, along with the necessary permits.
Planning your trip in Port Blair is fairly easy. Keep in mind that most of the tourist destinations in Andaman Islands are connected only through Port Blair so this is will be the center spot for all your tours.
The way to plan a trip and travel in Port Blair is to visit 2-3 locations everyday which may include Corbyn's Cove Beach, Cellular Jail, and Water Sports complex. All of these can be visited in 1 day.
If you wanna explore Port Blair for another day, you can plan a visit to Chidiyatapu and Wandoor. Both are offbeat and equally wonderful places to visit.
Port Blair is about 778 miles (1,255 km) from Kolkata (Calcutta) and some 738 miles (1,191 km) from Chennai (Madras).
Reaching Port Blair means reaching the Andamans and there are 2 ways to reach here.
Flights are the best way to reach Port Blair and it takes around 2-2.5 hours, in general, to reach here. Almost all the tourists visiting the Islands prefer flight as it is more convenient and hassle-free.
Direct flights are available from Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Delhi so you don’t have to go through the hassle of a layover.
Try contacting your local ticket supplier for booking,
If you are booking a package from us, you will also have the option to let us book the tickets at an affordable price.
Coming here in a ship can be affordable but it takes more than 3-4 days (50-60 Hours) to reach Andaman from Vishakapatnam and Kolkata.
People coming from Kolkata travel a distance of 1255 KMs to reach Port Blair while people coming from Chennai cover 1190 KMs for the same duration of time.
The fare generally ranges from INR 2900-3000 for the Bunk Class, INR 7455-9365 for Cabin 2nd Class and INR 10,000-11,295 for Deluxe 1st Class.
Before booking, one must also consider several factors including, Sea Sickness, Weather, Food, and Clean Cabins.
Overall we don't recommend coming here on a ship because it won't be near as pleasant as a cruise.
To learn more about the ways you can reach Port Blair and learn more about the journey via Ship with full comparison, visit how to reach the Andaman Islands page.
You will be traveling to different islands by a ferry and every ferry in Andaman connects to Port Blair giving you a lot of choices in timings and operators.
Basically there are 2 types of ferries in Andaman:
Operated by the A&N Administration, the Govt. ferry is used by locals mostly and is considered the lifeline of the islands. The Govt. ferry operates for all routes that connects Port Blair to other islands in both South and Middle Andaman. The pricing for the Govt. ferry is low (usually half) when compared to the private one, but it is mostly reserved for locals and tourists are deterred from using it.
Another reason why its not famous among travelers is that there is no option for pre-booking online, you will have to visit the counter in person and stand in line 2 days before the departure date to get the ticket.
Private ferries deliver a premium travel experience and are mostly geared towards tourists. Although a bit more expensive than the govt. ones, these cruises travel pretty fast, with the least chance of seasickness, making it quite popular among travelers who want to avoid any hassles. The tickets for these can be bought either from the respective ferry operator or can be booked through partners like Eternal Andamans.
We highly recommend you to book the ferries in advance according to your plans as the tickets sell out pretty fast, and there is no other way to reach remote islands besides them. Over the years we have received countless calls regarding last-minute ferry bookings, but we can only help so much.
Port Blair and Neil are not connected via road and therefore the only way to reach there is through a govt ferry or private cruise. Below are the schedule and other necessary information for the ferries operating through this route.
Havelock is an independent island and therefore it is not connected to Port Blair physically via any road. The only way to commute back and forth is via ferry and cruise operating through the route daily. Below is the information about the schedule and pricing, so you can compare and see what fits well with your travel plans.
Port Blair is well connected via road to most of the tourist destinations which are a part of the North Andaman Islands and therefore its fairly easy to commute back and forth between them. Its easy to travel via vehicle ferry and then take a cab to reach the destination. Read more below.
How to go to Baratang from Port Blair?
You will have to take either a bus from the Bus Terminus from Port Blair or a cab to reach Baratang. Mid-way the bus will be taken to vehicle ferry for covering the distance faster.
How to reach Mayabunder from Port Blair?
You can reach Mayabunder by a direct bus from the Bus Terminus and takes 8-9 hours to reach there. You can also opt to take a ferry to Diglipur and take a bus from there to reach there early. It takes 5-6 hours to reach by taking this route.
How to reach Diglipur from Port Blair?
You can reach Diglipur by taking a bus from the bus terminus in Aberdeen Bazaar and takes around 10-12 hours to reach there. You can also opt for cab that takes 8 hours to reach there. Ferries are also available from Phoenix Bay Jetty for which tickets can be booked from DSS 2 days before the departure. It takes 4-5 hours to reach via a ferry.
How to reach Jolly Buoy island from Port Blair?
To reach Jolly Buoy you will take to take the boat tickets and forest permit from the IP&T office and reach Wandoor Beach via a cab to get on the boat that leaves from Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park.
How to go to North Bay island from Port Blair?
You can reach North Bay from Port Blair by taking a cab to Water Sports Complex and then taking a boat from Complex to North Bay Island. Regular boats are available to hire nearby, giving you a lot of options.
How to reach Havelock Island from Port Blair?
Since Havelock Island and Port Blair are separated by sea without any connecting bridges, you will have to take either a govt. ferry or private ferry/cruise to reach Havelock. Its better to book ferry online atleast 15 days before you depart from Port Blair as the tickets sell out pretty fast.
How to reach Nicobar Islands from Port Blair?
Tourists are barred from visiting the Nicobar Islands and can only visit and explore the islands in Andaman.
How to reach Ross and Smith Island from Port Blair?
To reach Ross and Smith island you will have to take a cab from Port Blair to Diglipur and then get on a boat there to reach the Ross and Smith Island.
Important Contact Information:
Do we need passport for Port Blair?
If you are a citizen of India, no passport is required to travel in Andaman Islands although all adults must carry the Aadhar Card. If you are a foreign national, you will require passport and and area permit to visit the islands.
How many days required to visit Port Blair?
If you are looking to visit all the major attractions like Chidiyatapu, Wandoor Beach, Carbyns Cove Beach and Cellular Jail it will take 2 days to explore them all. If you are looking to visit the nearby islands like Ross Island, North Bay, and Jolly Buoy along with the other major attractions you can explore them all in under 3 days.
How to get government ferry ticket in Port Blair?
To get the govt. ferry ticket, you can visit the DSS (Directorate of Shipping Services) office in Phoenix Bay to get the tickets. The tickets are on sale 2 days prior to departure. You can get more information on this by enquiring at DSS Information Centre at the address: Foreshore Rd, Phoenix Bay, Port Blair.
What to wear in Port Blair?
Since Port Blair is tropical with high humudity and average temperature, you can opt to wear light cotton clothes and shorts. A hat and sunscreen is also recommended because tanning capacity is high here.
Is Port Blair a major Port?
Yes Port Blair is major port in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The port harbors both passenger ships and cargo ships and is responsible for all goods traveling to Andaman Islands.
How to get ferry and cruise ticket in Port Blair?
You can get private ferry and cruise tickets in Port Blair by either booking it online or by visiting the office. You can book them online or get the address of the respective office of the cruise operator here.
Where is Port Blair?
Port Blair is located at the Bay of Bengal, on the right side of India, 1191 kms from Chennai and 1225 kms from Kolkata.
How to book CPWD guest house and Teal House in Port Blair?
You can book CPWD guest house and Teal House by contacting your department head and place a request with the Andaman Administration.
How to reach Port Blair from Delhi?
You can reach Port Blair from Delhi by taking a flight. All flights to Port Blair are connecting and you will have to make an overlay stop in Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Vishakapatnam. In general it takes around 4-5 hours to reach here.
How far is Havelock Island from Port Blair?
Havelock Island is located 70.6 kms from the Port Blair Airport and 51 Kms from the Phoenix Bay Jetty.
How to reach Radhanagar beach from Port Blair?
Radhanagar Beach is located in Havelock Island, which has to be reached by taking a ferry from Port Blair. Once you are there you can get a cab or auto-rickshaw to the Radhanagar Beach.
How far is Neil Island from Port Blair?
Neil Island is located 39.8 kms approx from Port Blair and it takes 2 hours to reach there via a ferry and 1 hour via a cruise.